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February 8, 2012
Dean Jones, the former Australia batsman and technical director of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) franchise, the Chittagong Kings, has said the tournament will help young Bangladesh players, as they will have the opportunity to play alongside international stars. The Kings have Tamim Iqbal as their icon player, and bought West Indies' Dwayne Bravo and Jerome Taylor, and Muttiah Muralitharan in the auction.
"The great thing about this tournament is that the players can rub shoulders with Murali, Tamim and Dwayne Bravo," Jones said. "[For the young players], getting to see how good they are against experienced players is really important. I think it will really bring the best out of some players. Some players will fail but some players will do very well."
The BPL has been hampered by some of the high-profile buys pulling out due to international or domestic commitments. The Kings will be without Shoaib Malik, the Pakistan allrounder, and West Indies opener Lendl Simmons. "Everyone has got that problem," Jones said. "We're looking for replacements now as we speak; who they are I'm not going to disclose.
"We've got players coming in on the morning of February 10 [date of the opening fixture] because they are playing first-class matches in Pakistan and the West Indies or something. We've just got to roll with the punches, get them ready and off we go."
The Kings will be coached by former Bangladesh captain Khaled Mahmud and have Michael Bevan, the former Australia batsman, as their batting consultant, with Jones advising the coaching staff. "Khaled Mahmud is my eyes and ears; he is helping me communicate with the Bangladeshi boys and understand their roles as well," Jones said. "Of course we have Michael Bevan and we have bowling and fielding coaches. I am very happy with my coaching staff."
Jones said the BPL would help Bangladesh cricket because it will give the local players the experience of playing under the spotlight. "I think it will give them more exposure, more awareness, it will put them under more pressure, under lights, in front of big crowds. Sometimes you'll get hurt and get beaten. And then you've got to work on your strengths and weakness to come back.
"I think it couldn't come at a better time really for the Bangladesh people and the players. They needed this, I think they wanted this. They need to get out of their comfort zone and now they are going to find out how good they are."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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